National Swine Nutrition Guide

US - A project is currently underway to develop a National Swine Nutrition Guide. This effort is a collaboration among universities, agri-businesses, and the US Pork Center of Excellence, writes Dr Eric van Heugten in Swine News from North Carolina (NC) State University.
calendar icon 18 August 2008
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The purpose of the National Swine Nutrition Guide is to enhance the understanding of basic nutrition, feeding principles and related management practices and to serve as a reference for pork producers, students, educators and allied industry personnel.

Members of the steering committee responsible for managing the development of the Guide and their affiliations are as follows:

  • Dr Scott Carter - Oklahoma State University
  • Dr Joel DeRouchey - Kansas State University
  • Dr David Meisinger U.S. Pork Center of Excellence
  • Dr Duane Reese (Chair) - University of Nebraska
  • Dr Brian Richert - Purdue University
  • Dr Marcia Shannon - University of Missouri
  • Dr Ken Stalder - Iowa State University
  • Dr Hans Stein - University of Illinois
  • Dr Eric van Heugten - North Carolina State University
  • Dr Mark Whitney - University of Minnesota
  • Ms Charlotte Kirk Baer (ex-officio) - USDA/CSREES

Users of the National Swine Nutrition Guide will be able to estimate the nutritional needs of pigs by considering specific factors that affect nutrient recommendations. The identification and description of these factors provide the framework for the nutrient recommendations presented in the National Swine Nutrition Guide.

The National Swine Nutrition Guide project is well underway, and writing of the 17 fact sheets associated with it has begun. This project is meant to be very inclusive. Anyone with expertise and interest in the project has been or will be invited to participate in some role related to the writing or reviewing of the sections. Also, this project replaces all the state and regional guides that have existed over the years. Most of those have ceased to exist simply due to attrition of qualified swine Extension nutritionists trained to write or update such documents.

The table of contents for the National Swine Nutrition Guide will be as follows:

  1. Introduction
  2. Factors Affecting Nutrient Recommendations
  3. Understanding Nutrient Recommendations
  4. Nutrient Sources
  5. Nutrient Recommendations and Feeding Management
  6. Example Diets
  7. Water Systems and Management
  8. Diet and Health Interactions
  9. Feed Additives
  10. Ingredient and Feed Quality
  11. Ingredient Composition
  12. Feed Processing and Manufacture
  13. Methods of Supplying Nutrients
  14. Feeding Systems
  15. Feeding for Niche Pork Production Systems
  16. Nutrition and the Environment
  17. Nutrition and Pork Quality
  18. Conversion Factors
  19. Index

This effort will not replace the need for an updated Nutrient Requirements of Swine published by the National Academy of Science. In fact, in a separate activity, work is being done to keep that opportunity alive. The Nutrient Requirements series of books are just that: they contain the nutrient needs of the species.

The National Swine Nutrition Guide is a practical bulletin containing nutrient recommendations that are based upon the requirements established by the 1998 National Research Council (NRC) and research results published since. The fact sheets resulting from this project will be published in the Pork Information Gateway (PIG).

They will also be published in hard copy by the US Pork Center of Excellence for use by state specialists who work with pork producers and who would rather have a copy in hand.

The preface for the Guide states that swine nutrition and feeding management is a complex process. Feed is the largest single item among the costs of producing pork, historically accounting for about 60 percent of all costs in farrow-to-finish systems.

Pork producers are encouraged to employ a comprehensive feeding program based on sound principles and tailored to the operation. The National Swine Nutrition Guide, which includes computer software to allow direct application of its contents to practical feeding situations, provides the basis for the development and management of such swine feeding programs.

In order to ensure that the National Swine Nutrition Guide is current and relevant to the pork industry, the assistance of several people representing various facets of the pork industry was solicited. Also, in situations where 'grey areas' existed, these industry representatives made specific proposals or recommendations. Therefore, the ultimate goal of the project was to utilize the knowledge of respected swine professionals who represent a cross-section of the pork industry to improve the application of this publication.

In preparing this publication, a priority has been to discuss contemporary and experimental swine nutrition issues. The discussion of these issues has been focused to emphasize results presented in the scientific literature. Consideration was also given to many additional factors that enter into the decision-making process regarding feeding pigs. The ability to properly analyze these factors could have a major influence on the profitability of pork production.

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